Family of 22-year-old shot and killed asks people be kind in his name

To honor a man his family says was selfless throughout this life, loved ones are asking people to be like him on Friday during “Random Acts of Kindness Day.”

Late on Dec. 27 court records state 22-year-old Alex Becker of St. Paul was shot while walking home from work. Becker’s family believes it was random and that he was feet away from home when it happened.

“Alex was a wonderful person,” Tara Becker, Alex’s mother, said.

“It’s hard being here without him,” she added. “Your kids aren’t supposed to go before you.”

Investigators say shortly before eight gunshots were heard on surveillance footage, three men were seen running through an alley Alex Becker had just walked into. Since that December night, two men have been charged with second-degree murder.

“If these are in fact the people that are responsible for this, I’m glad that they [won’t] be able to hurt anyone else. But, it is not comforting because it won’t bring Alex back,” Tara Becker said.

Tara says the weeks following his killing were rough, but an idea from her sister, Hidy Hammarsten, gave her a much-needed spark of joy. 

That idea is to honor Alex Becker on Friday, which is national Random Acts of Kindness Day — a day when people are asked to spread kindness through simple acts like opening a door for someone to something as generous as picking up a grocery bill.

To generate support, Hammarsten started the public Facebook group Act of Kindness Day honoring Alex Becker.

“It kind of makes me feel like he’s still here, providing that [selflessness] to the public,” Hammarsten said, adding: “[Him] being kind to people, even though it’s through other people now, but they still kind of feel like it’s him, channeling through us.”

They say no gesture is too small for a man with a big heart.

“Alex was a very special person and to keep that light of him here, even though he’s not here, I really want people to remember him that way,” Tara Becker said.